On June 27th Dr. Arthur Willam Ross (“Bill”) died of cancer and heart failure and passed away peacefully at his home surrounded by family and friends and within sight of his hydrangeas and the marsh that he loved.
Dr. Ross was born in Mobile, Alabama in 1943 where he attended Murphy HS before obtaining his undergraduate degree from Davidson University. He served in the Army after college and was honorably discharged as a first Lieutenant in the medical corps. Following the Army he returned to school obtaining his PhD in clinical psychology from the University of South Carolina followed by Internships and Residencies at the Oregon Health & Science University in Portland Oregon.
Dr. Ross returned to the Lowcountry and settled on Sullivan’s Island and brought a passion for youth soccer back from Portland, helping found the Hungryneck Soccer Association in the late seventies. His career in Charleston began at Family Medicine at MUSC where he worked for a number of years seeing patients and teaching medical students.
In the early 80s he departed MUSC and opened a private practice in Mt. Pleasant (Psychology and Associates). There his life’s work flourished as a child psychologist. Dr. Ross counseled thousands of area children and teens in their moments of crisis, doubt, pain and turmoil. Using his acute senses of empathy, compassion and rational advice, he provided many of his patients with solace and genuine healing in their hearts and minds. These gifts and that important work resonates in the lives he touched then, now and forever.
Bill remained humble and curious until the end. An incomplete listing of his passions and interests include: golf, science, civil rights, liberal politics, photography, humanism, evolutionary theory, Davidson basketball, Steph Curry, gardening, backpacking, cooking his Mother’s gumbo recipe, soccer, bridge, racquetball, sarcasm, music (from Bach to the Allman Brothers and all things in between and beyond), a good pun, birds and reading. Bill was a longtime member of the LOD and the HDRT.
Beyond this rangy bouillabaisse of pursuits, at the center of his being was his love and devotion to his wife and children. As a Grandfather, there was none more loyal, engaged and creative. Bill and Niki are thought to be the only grandparents in history to allow their two young grandsons to spend the night with them every Saturday night from the time they were 6 months old until he passed.
Bill was proceeded in death by his parents Arthur Leonidas Ross and Dorothy Sanding Taylor, his sister Nancy Taylor Ross, his beloved Aunt Nannie Taylor Winberry and his first wife Rosalyn Hazlehurst Mitchell, Niki’s father Robert Eugene Wilson.
Bill is survived by his devoted wife of 31 years Niki Wilson Ross of Mt. Pleasant, his son Buff and Leila (Davenport) Ross of Sullivan’s Island, his children by marriage Alex and Laura (MacGregor) of Philadelphia, Janie Haddad Tompkins and Paul F. Tompkins of Los Angeles and his closest friend of 48 years, Thom Hiers of Sullivan’s Island, and his son Gary Hiers of Mt. Pleasant and his beloved grandchildren Jack and Barlow Ross.
The family would like to thank the numerous caregivers, nurses, doctors and friends that have shown immense love, patience, support and grace throughout this process. His energy has returned to the universe but his spirit remains forever in the hearts and souls he touched during his time on this planet.
A Memorial Service will be held at McAlister-Smith Funeral Home, 1520 Rifle Range Road, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464 on Wednesday, June 29, 2016 at 2:30 PM.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations in Bill’s honor be made to 180 Place (http://one80place.org/)